As consumer attitudes shift and concerns about climate change rise, many corporations change old habits and opt for sustainable initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. While making these eco-friendly changes may seem disruptive, the truth is that making small steps to become more environmentally friendly doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated.
Implementing eco-friendly business practices can help improve the life of your employees and customers, as everyone works together to make a better tomorrow. To help you and your small business get started, here are seven simple ways you and your team can positively impact the environment.
Benefits of Making Your Business More Eco-Friendly
While the impact on the environment is the primary focus of most organizations looking to become more sustainable, several secondary benefits could improve your bottom line.
Implementing practices at your business that help reduce energy use, water consumption, and packaging waste can help reduce expenses over time. Likewise, investing in updated energy-efficient equipment and supplies can also help create new efficiencies for your business that could translate into significant savings.
Attract New Customers
In addition to saving money, committing to being an eco-friendly brand may also help attract new customers. Customers searching for more sustainable goods and services online have risen by nearly 71% globally over the last five years.
Qualify for Potential Tax Breaks & Subsidies
While consumers are helping drive many of these practices at a corporate level, the world’s governments are also helping reward organizations that reduce their impact. While every area of the world and industry varies, your business could qualify for additional tax breaks and incentives for reducing your carbon emissions, installing energy-efficient machines, or advancing green technologies.
7 Ways to Green Your Business
Before your business can take full advantage of the benefits listed above, you’ll have to review your business operations and look for opportunities to stay true to your commitment to going green. While every business may differ in the steps it can take, below are seven things to consider as you start to make your company greener.
1. Offer Remote Work Opportunities to Your Employees
In April 2020, when COVID-19 lockdowns and remote work peaked, there was a 17% reduction in global CO2 emissions. While emissions have mostly turned back to pre-pandemic numbers, small and large organizations have a real opportunity to reduce emissions caused by commuting by allowing continued remote work opportunities for their employees.
2. Provide Benefits for Public Transit & Carpoolers
When remote work is unavailable, companies can help cut emissions by encouraging their employees to take public transport and carpool. Supporting these employees could be done by buying public transport passes, monthly reimbursements for carpoolers, or vanpool programs.
3. Make Your Office More Energy Efficient
Before you start changing your products or services, many businesses first look inward at their offices for opportunities to reduce energy consumption and limit waste. This often starts in the lunch or breakroom.
If you haven’t already, try eliminating plastic waste and instead opt for reusable cups, plates, and cutlery. You can also update office lighting with more energy-efficient LED bulbs and automatic switches that turn off lights when areas aren’t in use. Finally, take a look at your office appliances, and make sure they’re energy-efficient, too.
4. Upgrade to Eco-Friendly Packaging
If you sell something online, your product is most likely shipped out using packaging. While convenient for the customer, excess packaging can lead to tons of plastic waste ending up in landfills, oceans, and other places not great for the environment.
Amazon, for example, in 2019 generated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste. To help limit the environmental impact of your packaging, look for ways to reduce or use more sustainable products. Many alternatives are becoming more accessible, including recycled, plant-based, and even edible packaging materials.
5. Donate to Environmental Causes & Initiatives
In addition to making improvements to your office, products, and packaging, corporations may also have the opportunity to donate to causes or initiatives that align with their overall environmental strategy. Donations can be more than writing a check.
Organizations of all sizes can also look for volunteer opportunities to help plant trees, clean up parks, or fundraise for local nonprofits. In addition to helping the environment, these exercises can help build up your team as they work together to support a common goal.
6. Share Your Progress & Help Educate
Share your progress with others as you succeed in your efforts to go green. Whether you are posting photos on social media of your team volunteering or showing off new, greener packaging initiatives, your clients and customers will be happy to learn about your efforts.
Likewise, green initiatives can cause a ripple effect throughout your industry, so never be afraid to be the first.
7. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
As your business focuses on going green, you’ll likely uncover additional chances to reduce, reuse, and recycle throughout your organization. This can be true with large projects and initiatives as much as everyday occurrences.
One thing that is often overlooked but makes a significant impact is your office mail. Junk mail alone contributes 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases yearly and produces about 1 billion pounds of landfill waste. Simply recycling this type of mail we all deal with can go a long way in helping the environment.
Stop Your Junk Mail, Help Save the Planet
Are you looking for a way to stop your junk mail problem permanently? SnapMailbox offers a virtual mailbox that allows you to review your mail online, anywhere in the world, easily. You choose what mail you receive and what gets thrown out.
We’re committed to recycling all the mail you decide to have us shred in sustainable ways. Plus, we offer Green Subscription services that will also help support global reforestation. Learn more about how we are helping the world be a little greener by visiting our Green Subscription page.